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Theses and Dissertations

Name:Christopher N. Hunt
Degree:M.A.
Professor:Nancy Marie White
Year:2014
Title:
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A Forgotten Community: Archaeological Documentation of Old St. Joseph, Gulf County, Florida

  
Abstract:
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The town of St. Joseph, established in 1835, served as an important deep-water port for receiving and shipping dry goods up the Apalachicola River north along the vast network of navigable inland waterways in southeastern U.S. during the early nineteenth century. Unfortunately, this town was hit with a yellow fever epidemic and a series of hurricanes that, combined with the infancy of its cotton trade activities, eventually devastated its economy and population. The town disappeared by 1842, only much later to be replaced by modern Port St. Joe (est. 1909), located north of the original settlement. However, St. Joseph's influence upon Florida's economy was paramount. It hosted Florida's first constitutional convention, where the first five constitutions were drafted. Despite St. Joseph's historical gravity, little was known about its economic impact to Florida; much of its history is shrouded in folklore. Recently a large artifact collection from St. Joseph was made available for professional research. The collector invited me to document the materials and do the first archaeological investigation of this lost town. This research also utilizes the material culture to examine questions of early nineteenth-century capitalism and consumer behavior.